Navigation Links
Tufts engineering professor wins NSF Career Award
Date:4/6/2011

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Tom Vandervelde has been awarded an early-career award from the National Science Foundation for promising research on the conversion of heat to electricity.

Vandervelde, the John A. and Dorothy Adams Faculty Development Professor, will use the $400,000, five year award to continue his studies in thermophotovoltaics (TPVs)cells that convert thermal energy, or heat, into electricity. His research has implications for a new class of green technologies.

"Right now, heat sources have to be in excess of 1500 degrees Celsius in order for TPVs to work efficiently," says Vandervelde. His goal is to make TPVs more efficient at lower temperatures, and ultimately, convert heat to electricity at a cool 37 degrees Celsiusor the temperature of the human body.

This could have potential use in medical devices, such as a pacemaker that keeps a charge from the electricity generated by one's own body heat.

In a TPV system, when a photonan energy packet of light or heatstrikes the TPV a charge carrier pair is created that generates an electron and subsequently electricity.

But if the charge carriers recombine, a photon is re-emitted and is lost as light or heat. "Every time that recombination happens, that's less energy you get out and in the end that lowers your overall efficiency," says Vandervelde.

By using recent advances in infrared photodetectors, Vandervelde will investigate the use of a novel photodiode structure that contains a barrier which prevents recombination of the charge carriers. This allows the particles to flow out of the cell as unimpeded electrical current.

"By putting the barriers in, we end up separating where those charge carriers are so they end up not spending a lot of time near each other," says Vandervelde. "It makes recombination far less likely to occur, which means that you end up getting out a lot more current for the same amount of light coming in."

More efficient TPVs could also be used to recoup the heat lost to keep massive computer data server farms cool. "The realization of cooler-running, more energy-efficient, server farmswhich occupy 20% of energy consumption off the energy grid in some locations alone will change the very nature of our nation's energy needs in a positive way," he says.

"The ability to harness the ubiquitous waste heat represents a significant jump forward to our becoming a truly green society," Vandervelde says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Alex Reid
alexander.reid@tufts.edu
617-627-4173
Tufts University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Tufts University Prof. Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos named as AAAS Fellow
2. Tufts University professor receives IADR Pharmacology/Therapeutics/Toxicology Award
3. Tufts students host Earth Day with groundbreaking ceremony for solar house
4. Tufts wins NCRR grant for Collaborative Cluster in Genome Structure and Developmental Patterning
5. Tufts graduate students win $10,000 prizes
6. Tufts University chemist earns prestigious award for promising research on drug development
7. Jackson Laboratory and Tufts University announce new Ph.D. track in mammalian genetics
8. Tufts announces public launch of the Tufts Institute for Biomedical Partnerships website/HUB
9. Tufts professor earns ISCB Award for Excellence in Chemical Sciences
10. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News reports on growing role of molecular diagnostics
11. US Senate confirms Clemson University engineering Dean Esin Gulari to National Science Board
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 No two ... researchers at the New York University Tandon School ... Engineering have found that partial similarities between prints ... used in mobile phones and other electronic devices ... The vulnerability lies in the fact that ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... April 5, 2017 Today HYPR Corp. ... the server component of the HYPR platform is officially ... the end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across ... has already secured over 15 million users across the ... of connected home product suites and physical access represent ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... 30, 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com will ... hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in ... focus on developing health and wellness apps that provide ... the Genome is the first hackathon for personal ... largest companies in the genomics, tech and health industries ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has unveiled a ... new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to new markets ... It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking classes and ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... SomaGenics announced the receipt of a Phase ... (Single Cell), expected to be the first commercially available ... from single cells using NGS methods. The NIH,s recent ... development of approaches to analyze the heterogeneity of cell ... for measuring levels of mRNAs in individual cells have ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 09, 2017 , ... At its national board meeting in North Carolina, ... University’s Departments of Physics and Astronomy, has been selected for membership in ARCS ... for the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental physics for the discovery of the accelerating ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... , Oct. 6, 2017  The 2017 Nobel ... three scientists, Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank ... in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) have helped ... the structural biology community. The winners worked with ... now routinely produce highly resolved, three-dimensional images of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: